We're video streaming live from the 2017 Ponderosa Stomp Music History Conference on Thursday, October 5 and Friday, October 6. The Ponderosa Stomp celebrates the unsung heroes of American music and boasts "3 days of the best music you've never heard of."
The conference features musicians, historians and musicologists tackling all kinds of music history topics.
Please note this is a video stream only and will not be broadcast on the radio. Full info on the conference available at the Ponderosa Stomp website.
Thursday video schedule:
10 - 10:45a Bourbon Street Parade: A Look at Bourbon Street Clubs in the 60s
Featuring “Wacko” Wade, George Porter, Jr. and Moderator David Kunian
Bourbon Street’s musical past is easy to lose in the glare of neon lights and fluorescent drinks. A close look reveals that the tourist attraction was a vital source of work and a training ground for the Crescent City’s rhythm and blues artists. From his drum kit behind Freddie Fender and others, “Wacko” Wade Wright saw the strip transform from District Attorney Jim Garrison’s vice raids through the passage of civil rights legislation in the 1960s. The incomparable bassist George Porter, Jr. played in the house band at the Ivanhoe six nights a week in the early years of desegregation on Bourbon. When Allen Toussaint heard the group he brought them into the studio and introduced the world to The Meters, who went on to become one of New Orleans’ most celebrated acts. David Kunian, Curator of Music at the New Orleans Jazz Museum, leads the conversation.
To explore this subject further, go to the “Bourbon Street Parade” tour on ACloserWalkNola.com, the interactive map of New Orleans music history. You can follow it on a desktop or on a mobile device as you walk through the area.
11 - 11:45a The Gospel Truth of Rosemont Records
Featuring Al Taylor (Owner and engineer of Rosemont Records), James Williams (Guitarist and Leader of The Electrifying Crown Seekers), Andrew Jackson (Leader of The Famous Rocks of Harmony) and Moderator Brice White
This panel will examine the history and importance of Rosemont Records, which released gospel and rhythm & blues records in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as one of the first New Orleans hip hop records. Rosemont owner and engineer Al Taylor will be joined by James Williams, guitarist and leader of The Electrifying Crown Seekers, and Andrew Jackson, leader of The Famous Rocks of Harmony. Panel will be moderated by music historian, record producer, writer, and DJ, Brice White.
12:45 – 1:45p South Rampart Street Stroll: The Music and Geography of South Rampart Street
Featuring Bruce Raeburn, Deacon John Moore, Richard Campanella and Moderator Jordan Hirsch
The office towers and parking lots on South Rampart Street in New Orleans today obscure its remarkable history. Once brimming with honky tonks, dance halls, and shops, this strip was vital both to the birth of jazz and the development of New Orleans R&B -- the neighborhood was home to Louis Armstrong and, later, Professor Longhair. The story of “back o’ town” New Orleans, from Black Storyville to Chitlin Circuit dances to barroom gigs by the likes of Roy Brown, traces the emergence of the “New Orleans sound” in R&B. The sound would fill the nation’s radio waves and jukeboxes after World War II, even while much of the neighborhood was bulldozed. Deacon John Moore, bandleader of nearly fifty years and President of the New Orleans Musicians’ Union, will share Rampart Street lore and discuss with Richard Campanella, author and geographer at the Tulane School of Architecture and Dr. Bruce Raeburn, author and Director of Special Collections and Curator of the Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University. Writer and advocate Jordan Hirsch moderates.
To explore this subject further, go to the “South Rampart Street Stroll” tour on ACloserWalkNola.com, the interactive map of New Orleans music history. You can follow it on a desktop or on a mobile device as you walk through the area.
2 - 2:45p I’ve Got Reasons: The Return of Mary Jane Hooper
Featuring Mary Jane Hooper and Moderator Neil Pellegrin
Mary Jane Hooper, née Sena Fletcher, is a favorite of record collectors. Called the “Queen of New Orleans Funk” by some, she performed and recorded with such greats as Allen Toussaint, Eddie Bo, Lee Dorsey, Wardell Quezergue, Willie Tee and the great James Black as her drummer. Although most of her recordings were done at Cosimo Matassa’s studio, she also recorded at other facilities like Studio in the Country and Sea-Saint Recording studio. She recorded under the Scram, Power, Power-Pac, and World Pacific labels and was part of the famed Triple Souls background singers made up of herself, Inez Cheatham and Mercedes Morris, who did background for such artists as Johnny Adams, Lee Dorsey and others. Wanting to expand her musical wings, she toured with a well-known rock and roll band called the “Q” in the 1970’s. After leaving the music business, she became a well-known and respected newscaster on WTIX-AM radio, Vice President of a local advertising agency and a Senior Marketing Consultant for a nationwide telecommunications company. She will be interviewed by WWOZ disc jockey and vinyl aficionado Neil Pellegrin.
3 – 3:45p Willie Knows How: An Oral History with Willie West
Featuring Moderator John Broven
Willie West has been making music for over 50 years. After putting together his first band, the Sharks, as a teenager in Raceland, Louisiana, Willie recorded at Cosimo Matassa’s studio, worked with such greats as Wardell Quezergue and Allen Toussaint, and released records on a number of labels, including Rustone, Frisco, Deesu, Josie and Warner Bros. And all of this was before he was lead vocalist for The Meters when they performed on Saturday Night Live. Willie will be interviewed by the venerable John Broven, author of South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous and Rhythm and Blues in New Orleans.
4 – 4:45p It Came from Philly
Though Archie Bell was born in Texas and Winfield Parker is from Maryland, both artists are celebrated exponents of the Philadelphia sound. While touring in support of “Tighten Up,” a number one hit on both the pop and R&B charts, Archie & the Drells met Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, Philadelphia's leading songwriting and production team. Their partnership would produce classics such as "I Can't Stop Dancing" and "(There's Gonna Be A) Showdown," which was later re-invented by the New York Dolls. Winfield Parker was the flagship artists for Baltimore’s Ru-Jac label before hooking up with Jimmy Bishop of Philadelphia’s soul station WDAS. From there, he collaborated with Barbara Mason and charted with “S.O.S. (Stop Her On Site).” In his over 50-year career he has worked alongside such greats as Little Richard, Otis Redding, and Ike and Tina Turner. Moderating the discussion will be Dr. Jason Hanley, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Vice President of Education and Visitor Engagement.
5 – 5:45p The RAM Records Story
This panel shines a spotlight on the Shreveport label RAM Records. Alton Warwick, the co-owner of RAM who built the label’s studio, will be joined by Margaret Lewis, a RAM recording artist, producer, and award-winning songwriter; Swamp-pop pioneer Ernie Suarez, otherwise known as Roy “Boogie Boy” Perkins; and V.J. Boulet of Bobby & The Riff Raffs. Musician and musicologist Michael Hurtt, who is currently at work on a book about Detroit’s Fortune Records, will moderate.
6 – 6:45p Tales of A Louisiana Man: An Oral History with Doug Kershaw
Doug Kershaw, the singer, songwriter and master fiddler known as the Ragin’ Cajun, has had an extraordinary career. He was a regular on the Louisiana Hayride and a member of the Grand Ole Opry before recording hits “Diggy Liggy Lo” and “Louisiana Man” – the latter being the first song broadcast back to Earth from the moon by the Apollo 12 astronauts. His appearances on television shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, and The Johnny Cash Show brought Cajun music to a national audience. He will be interviewed by musicians Dave Stuckey and Deke Dickerson.